Two distinguished experts on the topic maintain polar opposite positions on starting a business with family.
In contrast, John Van Reenen, a unit director at the London School of Economics, believes family-controlled corporations seriously lack meritocracy in that the choice of chief executives and key leaders usually is limited to family members. Moreover, this arrangement lowers the drive of next-generation leaders to excel, tending instead to slacken off given the certainty of gaining a profitable position within the company. As a result, many family-controlled companies trend downward over time in terms of growth and innovation
And both experts have a point. On the one hand, the list of successful family-owned and controlled companies is impressive. With names like Foxconn, Nike, Volkswagen, Samsung Electronics and Wal-Mart gracing the top spots on the list of family-owned businesses, a powerful case could certainly be made for the viability of starting a business with family.
When making your own decision about whether or not to start a business with family members, consider some of the pros and cons.